These Bicycle Portraits explore the theme of public art in Vancouver, and the love/ hate relationship this city has with colour, graffiti, design and bikes.  Amid the consistent architecture of blues and greys, there is a persistence of vibrant self expression and brilliant colour in the cracks of the city.  Using a bicycle to go off grid, I found all kind of art on the backside of buildings, before they were scrubbed clean.  In painting this graffiti, I turn a collage of many artists temporary and often changing murals into a precious piece of one artist's work, capturing a moment in time.

All pieces are acrylic on wood, 20 x 20 inches. 

A culture is reflected by its artists.  A street artist publicly displays this culture, reflecting the ethos of a city back to its people.  Historical roots, musical themes, and ethnic heritage are demonstrated in street artwork, showing the diversity and priorities of a city.

In Vancouver, nature plays a big role in murals, decorating our buildings with animals and fish we cohabitate with in our oceanside living. Toronto shows its hip hop roots in a concrete haven, bringing color to back alleys between streets.  Canada’s cities show the rich and broad terrain of artists in our country.  The city makes the artist, and the art makes the city.

My landscape paintings capture urban graffiti in its environment, showing the beauty and color that artists have contributed to their surroundings.  These landcapes bring up questions about ownership of public space and what is fair representation in the public sphere.  Who decides what is graffiti and what is legitimate art? Can street art- ephemeral by nature, social media in the street- be legislated? 

Using acrylic and simulating the spray of aerosol paint using hand held atomizers, I turn a collage of street artists temporary and often changing murals into a precious piece of one artist's work, capturing a moment in time.

"The Walls Should Talk", Acrylic on Wood 30x30 inches

"Kensington Market Soul", Acrylic 30x30 inches

These pieces focus on graffiti culture in Canada’s largest city, Toronto.  To many, street art in Toronto represents the beauty and character of Toronto’s diverse communities.  Others see it as a form of vandalism, including Mayor Rob Ford, who famously vowed to remove the city of all its graffiti. The conflict between the City and street artists has resulted in many mural making projects, intended to beautify and capture the human experience, and also deter vandalism.